Intermediate Practice: Freeing the Neck and the First Four Ribs in Pranayama

In this practice, focus on freeing up the movement of the first four ribs. With each exhalation, allow them to drape down the body, retracting inwards away from the skin. With each inhalation, allow them to lift and open. Encourage this movement to happen slowly and evenly around their circumference.

The Sequence:

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) on ropes with the head supported

Rope Shirshasana (Head Stand)

Rope Child’s Pose
• Hang forward over the rope set up with the legs tucked in underneath you, against the wall as if in Child’s Pose.

Side Stretch over a bolster

Viparita Dandasana (Inverted Staff Pose) over a chair

Shavasana (Corpse Pose) with a roll under the neck for traction

Adho Mukha Shavasana (Downward Facing Corpse Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose) with a sandbag on the the sternum

Ujjayi Pranayama 4 (Victorious Breath 4) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
• Ujjayi 4 is an easy, full inhalation and exhalation performed in a reclined position.
• 5 minutes with a belt loosely tied around the waist at the level of the navel, softening and evening out the movement of the abdominal wall into and out of the belt.
• 5 minutes with the belt loosely around the lower ribs/diaphragm, softening and evening out the movement of the rib cage into and out of the belt.
• 5 minutes with the belt loosely around the upper ribs/top of the chest, softening and evening out the movement of the rib cage into and out of the belt.

Viloma Pranayama 1 (Interrupted Breath) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
• Viloma 1 is a full inhalation, divided into three increments by a brief pause before a long, easy exhalation.
• 5 minutes, filling first the lower abdomen, then the upper abdomen and finally the rib cage.

Ujjayi Pranayama 8 (Victorious Breath 4) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
• Ujjayi 4 is an easy, full inhalation and exhalation performed in a seated position.
• Place a tennis ball, or a rolled up wash cloth, under each armpit to support the arms and rease the neck and shoulders.

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


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